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Deathlands Deep Empire - James Axler

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Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages / Publisher: Gold Eagle / Published: December 1, 1993

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      06.03.2013 10:53
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      A Scientific Research Lab hides lots of secrets and lies...

      Deep Empire is the nineteenth book in Gold Eagle's ongoing Deathlands saga, still going strong decades after the books were first published. The stories are written now by a various selection of authors under the House Pseudonym of James Axler, as are the connected Outlanders novels, but this, one of the original novels, was written by original author Lawrence James....

      For those not familiar with the series, Deathlands is set in an alternative future America where much of the world has been ravaged by Atomic War. Road Warrior Ryan Cawdor and his ragtag bunch of fellow survivalists roam these Deathlands using hidden Matter-Transporters desperately searching for...something. Something undefined....a place where they can settle and finally call home...

      Deep Empire starts at the close of the last novel with Ryan and friends being pursued by angry Sec men from the last Ville they encountered. But they have a problem. The Redoubt where the Matter-Transporter they last used is seemingly locked off and the only other way in is guarded by Mutie Worms! Facing certain death head-on, Ryan forces his way inside, allowing his friends in just in time to jump away to a new location.

      This location is on Florida's coast and the new Redoubt is situated quite close to an Oceanography Institute. All seems nice and peaceful there, the Scientists who live there are friendly if not a little reserved, but the group soon discover all is not what it seems...

      The Institute is under constant attack by a group of marauding Pirates and the scientists have been training Dolphins to help protect their territory. But the Institute is always sitting on a massive Fault Line which could quake at any minute.....

      This was an okay read but not as good as some of the other books by the original author. In fact, it felt kind of lackluster when compared to some of the other titles and almost lazy at times! It's not awful like some of the newer books but it's not the best by any means.

      That said, I quite enjoyed it. These books are what they are, after all. And that, basically, is Pulp Sci-fi or Cult fiction at best. They are never really intended to be great pieces of art or literature.

      Still, if you are a big fan of this series like me, this book might leave you feeling a little jaded and hollow. It never quite rings true and, at times, it feels as though the characters are merely going through their paces. This book occurs at a time when the set group, that occupies the majority of the books, wasn't quite fully formed and so features Michael, a former monk, who never really fits as a replacement for Jak Lauren who, at this point of the canon has settled on a small ranch elsewhere with his wife and child. Thankfully already knowing Michael's days are numbered makes his presence easier to bear!

      Like I say, this was okay but no great shakes (excuse the pun). An average entry in the extensive series at best!

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